The Military Spouse JD Network is an international network of legal professionals improving the lives of military families. We advocate for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination. MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

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On the Blog

LTG Flora Darpino Honored by t…

LTG Flora Darpino Honored by the American Bar Association with Prestig…

MSJDN is proud to announce that Lieutenant General Flora Darpino has been named as a recipient of th… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

2 days ago

 

Virginia’s Military Spouse Att…

Virginia’s Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Rule in Action

On February 22, 2015, Lisa Villacis was sworn in to the Virginia State Bar under Rule 1A:8, the grou… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

1 week ago

 

Make Working Remotely Work For…

Make Working Remotely Work For You!

In the age of the Internet, email, smart phones, and teleconferences, working remotely is becoming i… Read More

Thea Pitzen

2 weeks ago

 

De-Stressing the Lawyerly Way

De-Stressing the Lawyerly Way

Isn’t MSJDN all about lawyers? Lawyers create stress, they don’t relieve it! But, attorneys are actually uniquely well-suited to talk about stress relief. At the end of the day, we fix problems for a… Read More

Stephanie Halford

3 weeks ago

MSJDN Licensing Efforts Gain M…

MSJDN Licensing Efforts Gain Moment…

by Kari-lynn Wenciker

MSJDN proudly reports that our licensing efforts are continuing to find success across the country. After recent rule changes in Oklahoma and New York (making it 12 states wit… Read More


Military Spouse JD Network

1 month ago

Our Mission:

MSJDN supports military spouses by:
- Advocating for licensing accommodations, including bar membership without additional examination,
- Providing education about the challenges facing military families,
- Encouraging hiring military spouses, and
- Providing a support network.
- MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

The Barriers:
Geographic Insecurity
Military Families are geographically insecure, moving every two to three years, often with tours overseas. These moves are based on the needs of the U.S. government, and are mandatory for the service-member. Although the spouse and children may technically refuse to move, this causes obvious hardships on families already often separated by deployments.

Legal Profession
Attorneys are required to be licensed in each state where they practice. Licensing can take up to a year, sometimes more, for the application, character and fitness review, bar examination, and processing. Licensing can cost $4,000 to $5,000 each time for preparation materials and fees. All gaps in employment must be justified on bar applications and can cause delays in admission.

What this means for our Members
It is not unusual for our members to have taken 3 or 4 different bar examinations. Less than 1/3 of MSJDN members have full-time legal employment. Half of MSJDN members are unemployed and actively looking for work, under-employed in non-attorney positions as paralegals/secretaries, or can only find part-time work. MSJDN members report that the biggest challenge to finding and keeping employment is frequent moves and lack of portable employment opportunities.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Ronnie G

    Hello, I’m a military spouse seeking advice on how to handle a divorce, my husband left town after discharge back in the 90s and is refusing to submit a fee waiver so that I can file a divorce in my state. Nor will he provide financial status info. Am I entitled to any benefits now that he is out the military, how do I find out if he has been collecting spousal allotments on my behalf? What are my rights going forward?

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Elizabeth JamisonElizabeth Jamison

      Ronnie, We are a bar association, not a legal provider. An attorney would need to know more details before being able to advise you properly. If you would like to email communications@msjdn.org, we can pass along your information to our membership and see if any military spouse attorneys are available in your area to assist you. We would also suggest contacting your local bar association for a referral to a local attorney to help you.

      Reply

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